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More than a bypass: unleashing the potential of the A465

February 16th 2021

The upgraded A465 heads of the valleys road is one of the Welsh Government’s largest infrastructure investments at around £1 billion. It runs alongside some of Wales’ most disadvantaged communities.

This agenda-setting report sets out some ways to capture the potential of that road investment.

The heads of the valleys road will take nearly 20 years to deliver. It is creating a stunning – and fast – connection between west Wales and the midlands  at a cost of £1 billion. But there is a real risk that the road will be no more than a bypass, enabling people to travel quickly through an area hard hit by decades of economic decline.

This report says there is much more that could be done to realise the potential of the investment for people and communities who live alongside it.  It includes proposals to create new transport interchanges and service stations along the route which would better connect the road with surrounding communities as well as capture some visitor spending power. It suggests creating an enterprise zone along the Brynmawr to Merthyr Tydfil stretch and revamping the area’s industrial estates, as well as providing new start-up units for budding entrepreneurs. It calls for much more to be made of the unique character and history of the area, exploring the business, day visitor and outdoor leisure markets.

Format: PDF
Pages: 16
Language: English


The report was commissioned by Alun Davies MS. However the views in it are solely those of the Bevan Foundation, drawing on its extensive experience of working on challenges faced by the heads of the valleys. 


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